How to Make Eel Traps

Written by will guzzardi
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Eels are spectacular creatures that have fascinated mankind for ages. The eel breeds far out at sea, then spends years of its life travelling to the freshwater streams where it will mature before returning to its oceanic birthplace to reproduce and die.

These elongated fishes have been hunted and eaten by humans, especially in Europe and Asia, for thousands of years. By constructing a relatively simple trap, and with a little bit of luck and patience, you too can catch an eel.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cloth bag
  • Newspaper
  • Bait (rabbit blood, or a 12oz steak)
  • 40-foot string
  • Leather glove

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  1. 1

    Fill the cloth bag with newspaper. Soak the papers in the rabbit's blood or bury the steak in the paper.

  2. 2

    Tie the bag off with the string, preserving the extra length.

  3. 3

    Find your spot. Eels prefer warmer water, so try to find a sunny patch of a shallow freshwater stream, especially in a marshy or weedy area, where eels are known to be present.

  4. 4

    Lower the trap into the water. Tie the trailing string to a tree, or tie it to a stick and bury the stick in the ground as an anchor. Leave the trap for a day.

  5. 5

    When you return, put on the leather glove and open the bag to feel around for eels. Be careful--they can bite.

Tips and warnings

  • Some species of eel are protected or endangered. Make sure you know which types of eel live in your area.

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